For over a year I have been following this local jewelery company called Soulfari and I just love all of her designs. I had the chance to meet her a couple of times at events and was instantly drawn to her warm demeanour and wanted to get to know her more. I finally got the chance to hang out with Sarah and ask her more about her brand, and I even got the chance to photograph her! She is a dream to photograph and so much fun to hang out with!
First are some images we snapped of some of her recent work followed by our interview. (she is very inspiring, you will want to read on)
Who are you? Sarah Anderson from Saskatoon Saskatchewan, the founder of the local jewelry company Soulfari.
How did you come up with Soulfari as your company name? It's a word I made up by combining the words "soul" and "safari". I think that the journey in life itself is really important and the same thing goes towards my jewelry. It's sort of a philosophy that is woven through everything that I do. A meaningful journey is essentially what it means.
What was the first piece that you ever remember creating? About 7 years ago my younger brother actually brought home some great glass beads and stretchy cord from Michaels to do a project with my mom. I loved them, so I went to Michaels and bought some more supplies and that's when it all started. I started creating more and more, and then people started asking me to make them for them and from there it just spiralled.
How long has Soulfari been around? Soulfari was founded 3 years ago.
Where do you get your influences? I get them EVERYWHERE I go, I keep my eyes open. I look for design in the world around me from natural things (i.e. plants), buildings, everything around me. My brain is constantly searching for things. I use an app called Evernote to keep track of things that inspire me. I'm also very influenced by world culture. I love the vibrant colours of India, Turkish styles, and Moroccan style. A bit more locally to Saskatchewan I also really enjoy our local aboriginal style with the beaded designs and the bone and natural materials. I like to fuse it all together.
What else keeps you busy besides creating beautiful pieces for your jewellery line? Music is a HUGE part of my life, I play trombone mostly but I also play ukulele, violin and I sing. The genre I usually play is funk/soul/jazz. With Jazz Festival coming up in Saskatoon I'm extremely busy with rehearsals in preparation. I also teach arts ed at an elementary school with kindergarten to gr. 8. I love spending time with my husband (also a musician) and taking my dog Apollo on bike rides, he's a huskie/shepherd and he's amazing.
What was a specific moment in your journey as a jewellery designer that made you proud? I was on Global TV and it was my first real interview which was very exciting for me. It felt real to me at that moment, it validated what I do a little bit more. It was exciting to share my work.
A lesson learned about starting a business venture: Don't stop learning! I am constantly trying to improve and fine tune everything I do. Whether it's craftsmanship and design for my business, or researching tips for instagram you have to keep moving. You have to constantly get better in all areas and keep it fresh. I'm even heading to Vancouver in the fall to take Graphic Design for a year to improve my skills in that area and apply it to my business. I love learning!
Any advice you have for someone wanting to take their art/skill to the next level? It is really important to always remember why you started doing what you do. Quite often with handmade things people start it as a hobby and they do it because they enjoy the sheer act of making what they are making. Then when you start taking it to the next level you have to deal with the business side of things and people don't always enjoy that part as much. You have to answer emails, market yourself, get things ordered, pay bills it's a very different side of things and not as artistic. It's important when things get a bit crazy on the business side to remember that feeling you get when your making something. For me when Im creating I'm so happy, I'm in the zone, hours will go by - my scope gets so finely tuned to what I'm doing the whole world just turns off. I love putting what's in my head into real form and manifesting it into a piece that you can wear, and then be able to share.
Whats the next step for the future of Soulfari? I would love to get my stuff into retail locations, starting with Saskatoon.
Where can we buy your product? www.soulfarijewelry.com and at a Salon called Rock Paper Scissors in Saskatoon. I also set up at events and festivals often, follow me on instagram @soulfarijewelry to find out where I'll be next.
Below is a little taste of the beauty you will see if you follow her on instagram!